Earlier this month the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission negotiators reached an agreement on the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. The long-awaited deal sets out a number of binding measures that will be used to achieve targets, including the EU goal of improving energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020.

Lead by the Danish Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the negotiations between MEPs and Member States came to a close on Wednesday June 13.  

The Energy Efficiency Directive will now include new additional exemptions and measures added to the original proposals. During the discussion ministers for the UK argued that countries that had already adopted schemes for energy retail companies should be granted additional exemptions, while MEPs introduced additional measures designed to guarantee further energy savings in the future.

Despite the success of the negotiations many are still concerned that Europe will not reach the goal to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020, as most of the European Commission’s ambitious proposals for immediate binding national targets have been erased.

However, the European Parliament has introduced a measure in article 3a of the Directive which requests EU Member States to draw up a roadmap to make the entire building sector more energy efficient by 2050. This long-term strategy for the renovation of the entire building stock should be finalised by April 2014.

Ian Pritchard, the ACE Secretary General, said: “Even though this long-term strategy does not fully make up for the mandatory national targets the architectural profession had hoped for, in order to improve the built environment and create new jobs, it allows us to look to the future with more optimism and conviction, and presents some opportunities for growth thereby helping architects and others in the sector to emerge from the economic downturn.”